It is called feudalism yet social organization mode which was in force in the middle ages. East system it was structured based on fiefdoms : a contract whereby a feudal lord or a monarch ceded to another individual income in usufruct or land in exchange for various benefits (such as the obligation to provide military service and respect the relationship of vassalage).
Feudalism, therefore, was based on the bond of fidelity and dependence that the vassal owed to his lord, and in the consideration given by him . Due to its characteristics, this regime implied a decentralization of the power , since the nobles who controlled the castles and fortifications located in rural areas acted as the authorities closest to the people.
The fief can be understood as a socio-economic unit . The vassal was the one who worked the land : He could pay the man a fixed amount (in coins or in kind) or deliver part of the harvest.
It is important to keep in mind that the vassal he was not a slave , but a free man, beyond the obvious subordination to his lord. Therefore, for him Marxism , feudalism was an intermediate condition between capitalism and slavery.
Beyond the economic aspect, feudalism also implied various rites and institutions . Through a ceremony known as tribute , the vassal was on his knees and his hands were taken by the Lord. Then, the latter invested the first, delivering the feud by some symbol.
Several causes led to the end of feudalism. The depletion of the land used for cultivation, the emergence of epidemics and the growth of bourgeoisie favored by trade are some of the factors that led to the fall of the feudal regime.
Precisely, it is known as crisis of feudalism to the stage in which his decline took place, in which the events cited in the previous paragraph took place, in addition to the famine that occurred due to insufficient food, which resulted in a large number of deaths. High severity diseases, many of which became epidemics, also contributed to this period, and a well-known example was the Black Death , which greatly decreased the population of Europe.
From the thirteenth century onwards, advances in agriculture techniques and the inevitable growth of trade led to pressure from the bourgeoisie to get the economy to open beyond the cities, secure trade was guaranteed and rethink the taxes of Toll , how abusive they were at that time. The rules became more fair and equal, with tougher punishments for criminals and more opportunities for honest workers.
As trade routes opened, the wealth of cities increased, and this increase in freedom He contributed to the fading of feudalism, since all the inhabitants could prosper on their own merits. The feudal lords began to have problems to get their benefits. While the vassals demanded cash payments for the military services they provided, the lords gradually began to use the money to hire professionally trained troops.
Another factor that favored the hiring of troops over the typical relations of feudalism was the appearance of weapons such as the pica and the bow, which diminished the effectiveness of the chivalry In the battles. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, feudalism declined at a greater rate, initially going through a certain distortion until it was finally completely diluted.